How many times a day do you check your smartphone?
How many times a day do you check your smartphone?
Solar Impulse 2 is halfway to making aviation history.
The plane took off from New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport on Monday and is making its way across the Atlantic Ocean to Seville, Spain. If successful, it would be the first time an emissions-free airplane has crossed the Atlantic.
Solar Impulse 2 is expected to land in Seville on June 23rd after a four-day, nonstop flight. It’s not the first time the pilot, Bertrand Piccard, has made the journey, but this trip may be his most significant.
“Lindbergh’s transatlantic flight marked a new area in aviation and contributed to the progress of air transport on a large scale,” Piccard said. “With Solar Impulse, our aim is to encourage the deployment of clean technologies everywhere. If an airplane can fly day and night without fuel, everybody could use these same efficient solutions in their daily lives.”
From Spain, Solar Impulse 2 will continue on to Abu Dhabi, where it began it’s journey in March 2015. You can follow the plane’s progress online here.
Fifteen years ago, China decided to build homegrown processors for PCs, servers, and supercomputers. Now the country’s latest chip is powering the world’s fastest computer.
The Sunway TaihuLight at the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, China, was ranked as the world’s fastest supercomputer on a Top500 list published on Monday. It runs on a homegrown ShenWei processor and is capable of 93 petaflops (million billion floating point operations per second) of sustained performance. Its peak performance can reach 125.4 petaflops.
The supercomputer is a big statement that China doesn’t have to rely on U.S. technology for its IT needs. China used Intel’s chips to build the world’s second fastest supercomputer, the Tianhe-2, which until recently held the top spot on the Top500 list.
The U.S. in April last year banned the export of some Intel Xeon chips to China for use in supercomputers, with the government concerned the chips would be used in activities against U.S. interests. The Tianhe-2 and Tianhe-1A were allegedly used in nuclear weapon tests, which partly spurred the export ban.
The embargo on the Xeon chips did not affect the building of the Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer. China already had set its sights on building the first supercomputer that could deliver a performance of more than 100 petaflops, Top500 wrote.
But the embargo did strengthen the resolve and precipitated efforts of China to build its own homegrown chips.
For the Chinese, the development of indigenous IT equipment, especially for high-performance computing, is a matter of priority and national pride, said Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst at Insight 64.
“They are trying to show their moxie here, and they are doing a pretty good job,” Brookwood said.
Developing a high-tech chip gives China bragging rights to stand up against countries and top chip-makers like Intel. It’s also a matter of cost, Brookwood said.
“China spends more on IT equipment than oil,” Brookwood said.
The home-grown Chinese chip also gives the country some weight and bargaining power against top chip makers Intel, IBM, and Qualcomm, who are trying to push their own chips to server makers in China.
The ShenWei processor may not make it to servers used in data centers, but may be a bargaining chip for China to use against companies like Intel and Qualcomm to make concessions as a way to gain business in the country.
A supercomputer with a homegrown Chinese chip, the Sunway BlueLight MPP, running an early version of the ShenWei processor, entered the Top500 list in November 2011 at number 14. It was the first Chinese supercomputer with a homegrown chip to enter the Top500 list and was ranked at 119 on the list released on Monday.
China, the U.S., Japan, and European countries are in a constant race to build the world’s fastest computer. China had 167 supercomputers on the Top500 list, beating the U.S., which had 165.
The Sunway TaihuLight has the ShenWei SW26010 processor, a monster 260-core chip. Each chip delivers a performance of 3 teraflops, which Top500 rated as being on par with Intel’s latest Xeon Phi chip code-named Knights Landing. That chip is rated as one of the company’s fastest.
The Chinese supercomputer has a staggering 10,649,600 cores over 40,960 nodes. It was developed by the National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering and Technology.
With Sunway TaihuLight, China is also the first country to make a supercomputer that passes 100 petaflops in performance. Countries are in a race to make a computer that can deliver a performance of an exaflop, or a million trillion calculations per second, which is expected to be reached sometime after 2020.
There’s still is some mystery to China’s latest homegrown chip. It is a 64-bit RISC processor, which Top500 speculates is based on the DEC Alpha architecture. The supercomputer has 1.3 petabytes of the older DDR3 memory, and uses 15.3 megawatts of power, making it more power-efficient than the number two supercomputer Tianhe-2, which uses 17.8 megawatts. It also has a homegrown interconnect, though its based on PCI-Express 3.0
China over years has developed a chip called Godson, which has been used in PCs, though progress has seemingly stalled.
A retailer, for example, could list and sell products directly through itsFacebook (Tech30) page. People who visit the page would be able to browse, shop and pay without ever leaving Facebook’s mobile app, or Facebook.com. (This story was first reported by BuzzFeed.),
This idea is appealing for companies who want as many ways to sell their products as possible. On the other hand, if more businesses start selling on Facebook, they’ll be at the mercy of Facebook’s algorithms and probably have to start buying ads to make sure people see their products. Facebook could also start taking a cut of sales in the future, resulting in possibly higher prices for customers.
At the end of the day, this experiment will likely become a reality. It fits well with what Facebook has already become very good at doing — online communication and advertising.
During its F8 conference earlier this year, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that users will be able to chat with businesses and track packages within Messenger, and transfer money between friends.
Giving companies a way to sell their products would tie these strings together. More importantly, the plan would reinforce Facebook’s message that the data it has on its users are better than anyone else’s. This is especially important for ad targeting. After all, if you’re an advertiser paying to show people a post that people can click on to buy something, you’ll see an immediate and direct pay off for your investment.
Google (Tech30) — Facebook’s biggest competitor — has been working on its own version of a “buy now through us” strategy. Just this week, Google launched the ability for businesses to sell products through its site, so that when people click on a Google shopping ad, they’re taken to the page where they can check out using saved payment information from their Google accounts.,
Social media is about engagement, so there’s often quite a large debate about adding any automated elements to a social media campaign. Because let’s face it—no one wants to follow an account that’s essentially a bot. Or do they?
While some automation tools do nothing but make your social media profile look like an announcement board, other tools can be used to sync right into your normal engagement to give it a helpful boost.
Microsoft has released their advance notification for the October 2014 Patch Tuesday updates. There will be a total of nine updates issued next Tuesday, October 14, three of them rated critical.
The three critical updates address problems in Internet Explorer and all versions of Windows. The first update, for Internet Explorer and Windows, is rated Critical on Windows client systems and Moderate on servers. The problems are likely mitigated by the Enhanced Security Configuration in Windows Server. The other two critical updates, affecting Windows and the .NET Framework, are critical on all Windows platforms, with a couple exceptions for Server Core.
Four other updates affect Windows. One is rated Moderate and the others Important. The Moderate bug also is listed as affecting Microsoft Office 2007 IME (Japanese).
Another update to Office affects Office 2007 and 2010 on Windows, Office for Mac 2011 and the Office Compatibility Pack SP3, is rated Important on all.
The final bug is a security bypass vulnerability, rated Important, in ASP.NET MVC versions 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0 and 5.1.
Microsoft will also release a new version of the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool and probably some as-yet undisclosed number of non-security updates to various Windows versions. It has also become popular for other companies, most prominently Adobe, to release security updates for their own products on that day.
Microsoft showed off the latest version of its flagship operating system at an event in San Francisco Tuesday. It wasn’t a complete unveiling — Microsoft focused on a handful of features that will benefit business customers.
Here’s a quick rundown:
– Return of the Start menu. After being inexplicably removed from Windows 8, the Start menu is back, and includes a new personalizable space for favorite apps, programs and websites.
– Apps in windows. With Windows 10, Microsoft has standardized the format for apps from the Windows Store and regular desktop programs. Both now run in traditional windows that can be resized and minimized from the bar at the top.
– Multiple desktops. A feature Mac users have enjoyed for years: the ability to create and swap between different desktops.
– A soup-ed Snap. The “Snap” feature, which allows users to work on multiple apps at once from the same screen, has been redesigned with a new quadrant layout to allow for up to four programs at once.
– New Task view button. A new button on the task bar takes you straight to a single screen that displays all your open apps and files (the old Alt + Tab trick).
One noteworthy aspect of Tuesday’s announcement was the revelation that Microsoft will allow business customers to choose specific Windows features to upgrade one at a time, rather than being forced to transition all at once from an older version.
Windows 10 is a key part of new CEO Satya Nadella’s effort to position Microsoft as a “mobile-first, cloud-first” company with a particular emphasis on productivity software. The goal is to make products like Office, Outlook and Skype staples for individual customers regardless of the device they’re using, and to transform Windows from a desktop operating system to cloud computing platform that can be accessed from anywhere.
Microsoft says Windows 10 “will run across the broadest range of devices ever,” from consumer products like PCs, tablets, Xboxes and phones to enterprise data centers and “Internet of Things” connected devices. There will be just a single app store for all these formats, and Microsoft says it will be possible for developers to write an application once and then deploy it across device types.